With dental work needed, Metro Transit Police patrol dog at risk - New York News

With dental work needed, Metro Transit Police patrol dog at risk of being retired

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WASHINGTON -

A Metro Transit patrol dog is on the verge of being retired and his position eliminated. His handler says it is all because he needs expensive dental work.

Metro won't pay for it and now Steve Morrison and his family are scrambling to raise the funds themselves.

"It's heartbreaking," says Christine Morrison.

Her husband, Steve, a 13-year veteran of the Metro Transit Police force, has been 3-year-old Blu's handler for nearly two years.

The Belgian Malanois breed has been in constant pain for several months now. He has broken three teeth and a fourth is cracked from barking and biting down on the metal grate in the patrol car. Morrison says it is a common problem seen with patrol dogs.

Christine says Metro doesn't insure their patrol dogs, so the $6,800 tab to fix Blu's teeth is now her husband Steve's responsibility. She says Metro officials have refused to pay.

"I don't want to say that they don't care, but they do know that the dog is in pain," she says.

Christine says once Blu's teeth are fixed, there is no reason he can't resume work with no restrictions.

"He's one of the best tacking dogs the department has ever had,” she says. “He fully understands what is job is and he will protect my husband, which is what their ultimate job is.”

Blu has proven to be an asset to the Metro Transit Police force. He has won numerous awards and became nationally certified this year at the United States Police Canine Association Nationals.

Metro spokesperson Morgan Dye issued a statement in response saying: "The transit police department has a diminished need for patrol dogs. When an existing patrol dog is no longer able to fulfill its duties, the dog is allowed to retire and the position is eliminated. This is in contrast with bomb-detecting EOD K9s, which is a unit that has expanded significantly in recent years.”

The Morrisons have set up the Facebook page, "Police K9 Needs Your Help," with a link to an Indiegogo website to help raise money for Blu's dental surgery.

Metro has given them two weeks to get Blu's teeth fixed.

Christine says it is heartbreaking to see Blu suffer. She says she and her family will fight for him even if Metro seems to have given up one of their four-legged officers.

So far, the Morrisons have raised over a thousand dollars. They say if they raise more than the $6,800 Blu's surgery will require, they will put it in a fund for other Metro K-9 units.

Online:

Fundraising Page for Blu

Police K9 Needs Your Help Facebook Page

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